swaddle

verb
swad·​dle | \ ˈswä-dᵊl \
swaddled; swaddling\ ˈswäd-​liŋ , ˈswä-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of swaddle

transitive verb

1a : to wrap (an infant) with swaddling clothes
b : envelop, swathe legs swaddled in bandages
2 : restrain, restrict marriage … swaddled him in a domesticity he came to loathe— Nina Auerbach

Examples of swaddle in a Sentence

He swaddled the baby in a blanket.

Recent Examples on the Web

While an incalculable number of people would like to swaddle and coo at the Big Boy, one person publicly congratulated the Duchess and Prince William who actually has a shot at meeting the little cherub: Michelle Obama. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "The Obamas Can’t Wait to Meet Kate Middleton and Prince William’s New Baby," 23 Apr. 2018 Hers is fuller: surrounded, swaddled even—an island on whose shores laps a vibrant, busy sea. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Sweat and Cries of Humankind," 11 Jan. 2019 In the early morning, the hills that flanked the dry riverbed were swaddled in mists that had drifted inland from the Skeleton Coast. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 So, for that Fourth of July party, Swift swaddled herself among friends, i.e. squad members. refinery29.com, "What It Means If Taylor Swift Skips Another Fourth Of July Party," 3 July 2018 Over and over again, Karp is seen swaddling, handling and shushing babies into submission while talking to the camera in a voice so hypnotic it could be trademarked. Ruth Margalit, New York Times, "How Harvey Karp Turned Baby Sleep Into Big Business," 18 Apr. 2018 On Friday, Chief Spadafora’s body was lifted off the back of a fire truck and carried into St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue the same way: swaddled in an American flag and laid in a Stokes basket. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Funeral Is Held for Firefighter Killed by Ground Zero Toxins," 29 June 2018 Perhaps cold comfort for investors used to being comfortably swaddled in central bank largess—but far better than a real global growth meltdown. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Global Growth Isn’t Dead Yet," 8 June 2018 Finally, the boy was swaddled in a flexible plastic stretcher — akin to a tortilla wrap, Hodges said — to confine his limbs and protect him from the cheese-grater walls. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swaddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of swaddle

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for swaddle

Middle English swadelen, swathelen, probably alteration of swedelen, swethelen, from swethel swaddling band, from Old English; akin to Old English swathian to swathe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swaddle

Statistics for swaddle

Last Updated

29 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swaddle

The first known use of swaddle was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swaddle

swaddle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swaddle

: to wrap (someone, especially a baby) tightly with a blanket, pieces of cloth, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swaddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swaddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swaddle

Spanish Central: Translation of swaddle

Nglish: Translation of swaddle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on swaddle

What made you want to look up swaddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!